Course syllabus


Course coordinator: Professor Annie Goldson

Guest Lecturers: Margaret Henley, Suzanne Woodward, Mark Boyd.



Prof. Annie Goldson:

Emily Holland -

Lila Bullen-Smith -

Tuakana mentor: Kaitiaki Rodger -


Class Reps:

Danny Chang -
Te Hira Mayall-Nahi -
Sav Wallis -


Course delivery:   2 hours of lectures, Thurs. 3-5, Old Govt House, Room G36

Tutorials begin Week 2.

For tutorial times, rooms and for staff office hours, see Class Resources sheet in the Module tab Week 1.


Introduction to the class

The course introduces you to some of the key issues, debates and controversies in journalism studies today. It examines journalistic practices and their contexts largely from a theoretical perspective although there is a practical component to the class. The course is organised into three blocks. The first looks at what journalism is, how it has changed through history and what it means to write the news. The second block explores the thought that being a journalist means holding and exercising a certain level of power over others. The third block is concerned with the modern challenges that journalism faces. It explores the profound impact of social, political and technological shifts (such as globalisation and tablodisation) on journalism today.

In the next 12 weeks, we will explore the role that journalism plays in society. In particular, we will ask questions that address the relationship between news and power, race and ethnicity, gender, entertainment, online media, globalisation and social movement. 

Course outcomes

By the end of this course, you are expected to be familiar with the key debates surrounding the role that journalism plays in democratic societies. You should be able to reflect upon the challenges that modern journalism faces and think critically about the effects that technological, social and political change has on journalistic practices. You will acquire skills in critical thinking and academic literacy and learn to art of writing for the news. 


Weekly topics


Introduction to Journalism and Journalism Studies 


News Values: Defining and Understanding News 


News as Power: Journalism as the Fourth Estate 


The Power of Private Interests: Media Ownership 

5: Journalism Ethics and Media Law
6:  Interviewing and Sources

Press conference

8:   Race and Representation in News

Gender and Journalism: News, Culture and Power


Sports journalism in the Digital Age


Tabloidization and the Celebrification of News


News 2.0: Redefining news platforms





There is no prescribed text. Instead, you are assigned 1-2 articles or chapters per week that you are required to read prior to your lecture and tutorial. The weekly readings are posted on this Canvas page under Reading Lists. You must read those articles listed in Talis as 'essential resources' and are encouraged to read those listed as 'further resources' which can include documentaries all of which engage with and investigate the role of news media and journalism. There are plenty of additional readings listed within each week's syllabus module under the Module tab.

Weekly readings will form the basis of what we will discuss in tutorials each week. One way of making sure that your engagement with the weekly reading is satisfactory is to take thorough notes and conduct a rigorous analysis of what you are reading.

Please use the further readings in the Weekly modules as a starting point when you write your assignments. You are also expected to undertake your own independent literature research in preparation for assessments.


Recommended Texts and Resources

The following are some useful texts that will help you navigate some of the key concepts of the course. They are all available either as digital copies in the library database, or they are on Short Loan, part of the main library system.

Allan, Stuart (ed.) (2010). The Routledge Companion to News and Journalism, London: Routledge. 

Calcutt, Andrew and Hammond, Philip (2011). Journalism Studies: A Critical Introduction, London: Routledge.

Fenton, Natalie (2010). New media, old news journalism & democracy in the digital age, London: SAGE.

Hannis, G. INTRO: (2014)  A practical guide to Journalism in NZ. Auckland: Massey Texts.

Hirst, Martin, Sean Phelan and Verica Ruper (eds.) (2012). Scooped: The Politics and Power of Journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, Auckland: AUT Media.

Johnson, Emma, Giovanni Tiso, Sarah Illingworth and Barnaby Bennett eds. (2016). Don't Dream it's Over: Reimagining Journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, Wellington: Freerange Press.

Phillips, Angela (2015). Journalism in context: Practice and Theory for the Digital Age, London: Routledge.

Street, John (2011). Mass Media, Politics and Democracy, 2nd ed., London: Palgrave.

Turner, Graeme (2016). Re-inventing the Media, London: Routledge.

Wahl-Joregensen, Karin and Thomas Hanitzsch (2009). The Handbook of Journalism Studies, London: Routledge.

Zeilzer, Barbie and Stuart Allan (2010). Keywords in News and Journalism Studies, Berkshire: Open University Press.


Television and Radio

Regular and current discussions about journalism in New Zealand can be heard on:

Mediawatch (National Radio, 101.4 FM, Sundays at 9 am) or podcast at: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Nine to Noon, with Kathryn Ryan: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Media Take (Maori Television): (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.



Public Address: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Scoop: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

The Standard: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Tumeke: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

The Hui,


International News Sources

Aljazeera: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

BBC News: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

The Guardian: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

New York Times: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.The Intercept: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Open Democracy: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Propublica: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Wikileaks: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.



A number of peer-reviewed academic journals regularly publish up-to-date research on issues of relevance to this course. These include:


Columbia Journalism Review

 Global Journalist

Journal of Communication Enquiry

Journalism Quarterly

Journalism and Mass Communication

Journalism Studies

Media Culture and Society

New Media and Society

New Zealand Journalism Review


All titles above are accessible electronically via the library. When undertaking research for this course, you should also use the library databases to undertake broader searches (for instance ‘new media and gender’, ‘social media and social control’ etc.). If you undertake broader searches however, make sure that you are addressing the key issues of this course. Do come and discuss this with us if you are in doubt.



The University of Auckland's expectation on 15-point courses is that students spend 10 hours per week on the course. Students manage their academic workload and other commitments accordingly. Students attend two hours of lectures each week and participate in a one-hour tutorial from week 2 of the semester. This leaves seven hours per week outside the classroom to prepare for tutorials, assignments and the exam.

Deadlines and submission of coursework

Please adhere to the deadlines for coursework. In some circumstances, for example, if you or a family member falls ill, you may seek an extension. Please do so through contacting your GTA or your lecturer through their email or their office hours.  It is preferable that you can provide a doctor's or counselor's certificate but if you are unable to access one, please contact us as we are able to make exceptions.  It is better to get an assignment in than not at all.  But to fair to students that make the deadline, there will be a small marks penalty imposed for each day the assignment is late, particularly if you have not discussed a late submission with the teaching staff.  


Submissions are online only, please submit through Canvas, not turnitin.  (apart from the Press Conference assignment 3


Referencing Style

Please refer to

You can choose which referencing style that you prefer. This syllabus has used APA 6 - here is the book reference. For several authors, e-books, journal articles, please look online at the above link.


Author. (Year of publication). Title of book (Edition). Place of Publication: Publisher.


Leggott, M. (2014). Heartland. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University Press.

Northouse, P. G. (2015). Introduction to leadership: Concepts and practice (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Strawson, G. (2014). The secret connexion: Causation, realism, and David Hume (Rev. ed.). Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

Course summary:

Date Details Due